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by Alex Gibson

The all-electric FIA Formula E championship, set to debut in 2014, has signed a sponsorship deal that aims to see wireless charging used extensively in the electric racing series.

The deal with wireless technology developer Qualcomm, hopes provide wireless charging for the series’ electric vehicles through a system dubbed ‘Halo’.

Using the ‘Halo’ technology, a coil built into the race cars picks up and converts an electromagnetic field emitted by a copper pad buried underground into electricity.

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To be used first with only the category’s safety car, there are plans for all Formula E cars to be charged using Halo by the second or third year of competition.

One major advantage of wireless charging is the potential to eliminate ‘refuelling’ stops during competition. Qualcomm says it is possible that pads could be built beneath a racetrack, allowing cars to be constantly recharged during a race simply by passing through each pad’s electromagnetic field meaning fewer disruptions for viewers.

Of course, such an exercise would be costly, and is dependent upon the early success of the electric series.

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Aside from wireless charging, Qualcomm also plans to provide Formula E’s telemetrics system.

This system would allow data to be collected about each vehicle – such as the car’s tyre pressure, engine performance, brake fluid levels, speed, and torque figures – on a nanosecond-by-nanosecond basis. Information would be relayed to race teams, who would be able to plan their races in real time. Set up as an app, the telemetrics system would also allow viewers to further engage with the race by displaying the same data on fans’ personal smartphones.

It was announced earlier this year that Renault will supply the electric powerplants for all championship racers as the official technical partner of Spark Racing Technology.

Formula E is scheduled to begin in London in September next year. Races will also be held in nine other cities worldwide. Each race will involve ten teams, each with two drivers, racing against each other in one-hour blocks.

Formula E’s chief executive Alejandro Ageg told the BBC, the sport is hoping to attract a younger audience than Formula One and promote the rapid development of electric vehicles.




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